By Brian Koonce
BRIDGETON – Missouri Baptist Children’s Home’s (MBCH) budget is going to be especially tight throughout the rest of 2010, and the key to moving into greener financial pastures is tax credits, tax credits and tax credits.
“It’s a win-win for MBCH and the State of Missouri,” said Robert Springate, MBCH vice president for public relations at the Children’s Home’s Oct. 12 board meeting.
By purchasing tax credits given to MBCH by the state, the average person can give more than simply giving a direct cash gift to the children’s home. The type of tax credits used by MBCH – namely the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP), Youth Opportunities Program (YOP) and Maternity Home credits – are budget-neutral.
“Tax credits help us and the state provide services for children, while raising additional private funds to go along with the resources with the state,” Springate said. “The state gets a $2-for-$1 bang for their buck, we get to take care of more kids, and it’s easier for the donor.”
So far in 2010, tax credits have provided MBCH with more than $900,000 toward ministering to children.
Tax credits were a hot-button issue during the 2010 legislative session in Missouri, particularly because certain “uncapped” credits were seen as a drain on the state budget. Springate said they should be capped like the NAP and YOP credits, which actually provide a return on the state’s money instead of a loss.
He also urged Missouri Baptists to contact their legislators to lobby the governor’s commission on tax credits in favor of the capped credits such as the maternity home credit.
“They’re already having hearings and they’re going to have a report ready by Thanksgiving,” he said. “The time to call is now.”
Trustees also approved an $8.04 million budget for MBCH’s Children and Family Ministries, which is nearly half a million dollars less than the 2010 budget. More than $175,000 of that cut is coming from changes in the way the state deals with Crisis Care Center fees, a change MBCH is not sure how to address just yet. Other hits to revenue include continuing low returns on investments due to the poor economy and projected fewer gifts from individuals and churches.
But despite the belt-tightening, MBCH’s focus – serving children and families in crisis – is still on the forefront. Through the third quarter of 2010, MBCH licensed 71 foster homes and helped place 21 children back in their homes. They have also seen 25 children accept Christ as a result of their services.
For more information about tax credits and how they can be used to minister through MBCH, call Springate at 1-800-264-6224.